Debunking Root Canal Myths

Root canal treatment is a procedure for saving teeth that are decayed or severely infected. Root canals are called for when an infection, which may have been ‘only a toothache’ initially, creates an abscess that expands throughout the tooth’s root. Root canal treatment, done by an endodontist or a general dentist, cleanses the inside of the tooth and removes the nerve and pulp inside the root canal, saving the tooth.

Due to misconceptions and myths about the procedure, some people find the thought of getting a root canal potentially frightening. We will debunk some common misconceptions and review when you may know you need a root canal.

Root Canals are not Painful

This is the most significant misunderstanding about the root canal procedure. When your teeth are rotting or decaying, you will experience pain from the infection. This is the most pain you will feel when it comes to root canals. Decades ago, dental technology was not as evolved as it is now. Because of this, treatments as a whole were a lot more painful and uncomfortable. Today, when you get a root canal, modern anesthesia will guarantee that you feel almost nothing.

Part of modern dentistry is effective pain management. This can be through sedation dentistry or simply numbing the area, depending on where you get the procedure done. The moral of the story, however, is that you will not feel anything. If all goes well, a root canal should relieve the pain you feel from the developed decay and infection.

It is Not Better to Pull the Tooth

If your tooth is infected, many people think it is way simpler to pull it out—this is not the case. It is always important to preserve your natural teeth for various reasons. 

When you lose a tooth, your other teeth and jawbone can suffer. The teeth around the missing tooth can begin to move and shift. This means that your smile can start to look crooked and your bite will no longer be aligned. Additionally, the jaw bone beneath the missing tooth can begin to deteriorate. Pulling a tooth instead of getting a root canal can be more problematic and painful in the long run than just getting the procedure.

You Will Not Get Sick From a Root Canal

An old and disproven study from many years ago linked root canals to other illnesses and diseases, such as heart and kidney disease and arthritis. This study has no valid science to back it up and has been refuted repeatedly. Root canals can help keep your mouth healthier and prevent more serious diseases from developing and spreading throughout the body.

What to Expect With a Root Canal?

If you know what it involves, a root canal procedure might not be scary. The dentist will numb the area near your tooth so you will not feel any pain. Though there are some rare cases where anesthetics may not be 100% effective when dealing with problems such as abscesses, the dentist will typically prescribe antibiotics seven to ten days ahead of time to prevent them from being a problem.

Once the root canal treatment has been completed and the bacteria and infection are cleared out of the tooth, your endodontist or dentist will remove the nerve from the tooth, place a soothing agent, and seal it with a filling. Should there be any discomfort after the procedure, it should clear up in 24 hours as the immune system takes care of whatever remains of the infection. The area could have a little tenderness for a few days following the procedure.

How to Know When You Need a Root Canal

Because a dead, diseased, or infected tooth sounds painful, many people think it will be obvious if they need a root canal. This is simply not the case. Sometimes, a dead tooth will cause you no pain at all. Sometimes, a fistula (or a pimple-like growth) will appear on the gums and drain pus from the diseased tooth. When a fistula is present, there is usually less pain and pressure around the area.

Because of the subtle nature of infections, it is important to see us regularly. You may have an infected or even dead tooth and not even know.

Trust the Professionals at Twin Dental

There are many misconceptions about root canals that are in no way based on fact and are not true. A root canal can help save your tooth and prevent various health issues from plaguing your mouth. If you have any questions about this procedure, contact our office.


Share Article